At Princeton College Consulting, our students start working on completing their college applications during the second semester of their Junior year.
While academic and extracurricular pursuits come first, spreading your application essay writing process over several months will allow you time to do your best work and greatly reduce your Senior year stress! Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it.
This paragraph reveals to admissions officers that she’s someone who engages in extended contemplations of what she reads.
Of course, this is exactly what you’re going to need to do in order to excel in college.
The paragraph ends with the professor’s call for the words of “Princeton in the service of all nations to be put into action.” What I like about Shanti’s approach is that she shows her awareness of a Princeton professor’s remarks about why he only gives money to institutions that “directly serve the poor, particularly those in `faraway places.'” As a college student, you’re going to need to write essays in which you situate your own ideas within the context of other people’s ideas, so this technique she uses is a good example of how you can subtly indicate that you’re ready to engage in this type of informed discussion. You have to decide if it works in the context of your own essay topic.
The second thing I want you to notice is how she makes transitions between the parts of her supplemental essay.The fact of the matter is that great writers study the writing of others. Watch this video if you want to see her Princeton supplement, listen to me critique it, and give you tips on how you can use it to get your own creative juices flowing.Even Emerson acknowledged this truth, but as he stated in “The American Scholar”: “Books are the best of things, well used; abused, among the worst. JUMP TO IN THE VIDEO to get right to the critique and tips.In traditional academic essays, you usually want to avoid one-sentence paragraphs, but when you’re writing a personal narrative (especially a college application essay) short paragraphs can effectively call attention to key points that you want to pop.Remember that admissions officers are reading so many essays, and you want to do everything possible to make reading yours pleasurable and easy to read.In the third paragraph, Shanti transitions away from the specific quotes in the article by describing the scene in which she was reading it and how it caused her to reflect on Princeton.I like this transition because she doesn’t jump right into her own values.Students who write the best application essays are the ones who take risks.They get the jitters–the nervousness and excitement–that we all experience when we put ourselves out on a limb, when we’re vulnerable and authentic and express ourselves in ways that might be different from our peers.It shall exclude example and experience.” That “wholly strange and new” way you must take is exalting yet scary because, as Emerson also notes, in society, “the virtue in most request is conformity,” which loves “not realities and creators, but names and customs.” What I’ve found is that when my students read those sample college application essays they often wind up feeling blocked and locked into the types of ideas they encounter in them.However, if you’re going to read sample essays, I want to introduce you to some useful strategies. I had better never see a book, than to be warped by its attraction clean out of my own orbit, and made a satellite instead of a system.” Let’s consider the supplemental essay that Shanti Kumar’s wrote for Princeton.